Rumors had been rising that Governor Pritzker of Illinois might be issuing stay at home orders for others, his wife wasn’t the stay at home type. Mary Konkol of The Patch finally wrote up the rumors while making every possible excuse for Mrs. Pritzker.
In Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz’s day-in-the life tale of Illinois’ rookie governor amid the pandemic, we learned Pritzker watched “Tiger King” on Netflix, a how he usually ends his day — “a little dinner, then he chats with his son and makes more calls” — but nothing of the first lady or his daughter.
The governor didn’t mention his wife when reporters asked the billionaire about how he’s doing physically and emotionally under his own stay-at-home order.
As things turn out, as the governor makes regular public pleas for Illinoisans to be “All In” during the extended stay-at-home fight to slow the spread of COVID-19, Mrs. Pritzker has been out of state, sources told Patch.
Specifically, the first lady has been spending time at their $12-million equestrian estate in Wellington, just down the horse trail from Bruce Springsteen, Bill Gates and Billy Joel, the family purchased shortly after J.B. was elected governor last year.
Then Konkol came out and directly asked Pritzker about it. And he replied with a “How dare you pick on my family” rant.
Mark Konkol with The Patch says, “Where’s the first lady? Is she accompanied by a state security detail? Has she engaged in non-essential travel? What is your response to people who say the state home order and non essential travel bans aren’t being abided by your family? I believe there’s a report from Illinois Rising Action that says that she recently traveled to Florida.”
Governor J. B. Pritzker: Well, first of all, I want to say that in politics it used to be that we kept our families out of it. My official duties have nothing to do with my family, so I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s inappropriate, and I find it reprehensible honestly that that reporter wrote a story about it.
That’s not a denial. It’s effectively an admission.
And if everyone else in the state can be threatened, berated, and fined for non-essential stuff, Governor Pritzker can and should answer basic questions about whether his wife is compliant or not.
A politician’s family is off limits when they’re following the law and living by the same standards as they expect of others.
When they’re not, and when it appears that there are no consequences, the politicians in question are fair game.
Here’s how one mayor in Illinois handled the question.
The mayor of a southern Illinois city said his wife was among a group of people who violated the state’s stay-at-home order to hang out at a local bar.
On Sunday morning, police in Alton, near the Missouri border, broke up a gathering at Hiram’s Tavern that was “clearly disregarding the executive order and public pleas for compliance,” the police department said in a news release.
Police did not say how many people were at the bar and did not name any of the violators. But Mayor Brant Walker said in a Facebook post Monday that his wife, Shannon Walker, was among those who got in trouble.
“I was made aware that my wife was in attendance at this prohibited social gathering. I instructed the Police Chief to treat her as he would any citizen violating the ‘Stay At Home’ order and to ensure that she received no special treatment,” the mayor wrote, saying he was embarrassed by the incident.
Not the way Pritzkers do business.